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Headscratchers: Berserk
  • What happens when an Apostle is made? Does Femto or Griffith (human form) appears before the candidate? Or do Godhand say well there is five of us but one of us is on vacation.
    • If the Dreamcast game is anything to go by (which it very well may not be, it's canonical status is in question), only four of the Godhand appear. No idea what they say about the presumably absent one, but maybe they refer the new Apostle to Griffith to open up some "exciting new job opportunities" for him.
      • The game was written by Miura, so it's may be canonical at least in terms of how this event goes. The remaining four probably did the business as usual routine then Griffith would send Zod to recruit the new Apostle. The real question may be how do Behelits work in the newly made world? The rest of the God Hand are implied to have their own physical presence now.
    • It wouldn't be too weird for only four of them to show up, either. Presumably, that's what they've been doing for centuries before Femto was created. The last thing an Apostle-to-be would have on their mind would be questioning why the God Hand is lacking a "finger".
  • This has been bugging me for awhile...are Kushans monotheistic or polytheist? I know they are based on Ancient India and use Hindu terms but then the use the singular word "God" a lot too (and not in reference to the Holy See). Hell, in one scan a general refers to a "Buddhist Preisthood" if that's not just a "Blind Idiot" Translation.
    • That's never mentioned in the Dark Horse translation. I have no way of knowing if it's there in the original Japanese.
    • Polytheism doesn't mean worshipping all gods you believe in. There are Hindus who worship specifically Shiva, Vishnu or some other god.
  • During the pivotal Battle of Doldrey the Hawks had a river behind them. Griffith had them burn all the boats they used to cross, so as to prevent their retreat and force them to fight to their true potential. So how did they leave? Did they have to make new boats? Hell, there's no wood around there, it's all just a desert. Maybe Midland soldiers arrived and ferried them back across.
    • It's been a while since I read the manga, but you don't need boats to cross a river. After they won, they could have crossed it by fording it from a place they couldn't reach due to being trapped by soliders. Or they could not have crossed it at all, where were they headed anyway?
    • It wasn't the kind of river you could just cross over...Maybe this was only in the Anime, I'll have to read it again. They crossed it get to the Battle of Doldrey (you can see the river in the wide shots before the battle) and they went back across it to return to Wyndham for the victory parade.
  • "Morgal and Waratoria are small countries, but because they are on the Easternmost border of the Vatican order, they have strong warriors who've crossed blades with the Kushan's many times in the past."
Okay, Serp, that's cool and all but if they are on the Eastern border with the Kushan Empire why did Ganishka just go right past them and into Midland? If they are indeed small countries, skilled Vatican soldiers and sworn enemies of the Kushan it should have been a priority to deal with them. I suppose geography was never Berserk's strong point.
  • It would depend on the geography, no? Which is better, forcing their way through countries that are used to fighting them and know their own territory well enough to stall an offensive, as opposed to sneaking around, taking over the unprepared, fragmented country next to them, and then taking them down from both sides?
  • Ganishka was probably more worried about Griffith's return than those two small countries. It's doubtful that they could be a real danger to him in the long run, but Griffith was a HUGE threat to him. So, he decided to take over Midland and build up his demon army there, so he would be prepared when the time came.
  • So..what exactly DOES Griffith want to do after he gets his own kingdom? Is he obsessed with power? The romantics of it? Does he want to use his authority to bring about some end?
    • Before the Eclipse he just wanted to rule a kingdom, and seemed to only be interested in power and status for himself. Now, however, it's hinted that he is going to use that power to unite mankind, before bringing about some sort of Apocalypse.
    • It struck me that he is creating a fantasy world in which dreams are made possible for good or for ill.
    • Yay! An apocalyptic Land of Ooo!
  • How is it possible that Isidoro, Serpico, and Farnese weren't possessed by evil spirits drawn by the Brand? I mean, they're with Guts for awhile before he gets a Talisman and it even happened to Farnese once before.
    • Probably because Isidoro, Serpico, and Farnese know about them. The spirits usually possess people who are either unaware of them or unprepared for them. When the target does knows about them and resists, the spirits will instead talk to them, and try to degrade the victim's will by preying on their desires and insecurities. I would guess that they can only possess people when their minds are unguarded; people who are expecting them and ready to fight are way more difficult.
  • Why doesn't Schierke simply venture into Casca's mind and draw her out the same way she brings Guts back when he uses the Berserker Armor?
    • Because Guts has a protective seal that safeguards his ego, making retrieval possible, while Casca...doesn't.
      • Not just that, but its because the cause of Casca's current... state is psychological, not magical.
      • Plus, the entire point of Caska's existence after she got her mental state has been a long, continuous wangslap to the face of her fans. Berserk's creator clearly very deeply hates Caska, considering all he has put her through in the name of, apparently, sheer sadism. So to fix her would be counter-productive. This, incidentally, bugs this troper very, very much indeed.
      • ^^^ Unless you can cite an actual statement by Miura stating that he hates Caska, I think it's a little much to say that he hates her just because what she's been through. It's a major part of the story, not a "take that you bitch!" subplot. Don't confuse the author's personal feelings with the natural progression of the plot.
      • Alternately, Miura wanted to show the readers what would actually happen if a girl got raped by a demonic being with the power of a god. Unlike most hentai, mental breakdown would probably result. Also, how else would she have been 'fixed'? To restore her sanity right after the eclipse would have destroyed whatever impact it had on the reader to begin with.
      • But it is annoying that Casca as a broken woman-child's now lasted nearly twice as long as Casca the heroic swordwoman. I'm personally starting to think that he just doesn't know what to do with her, and is keeping her in Heroic BSOD mode to avoid really having to deal with the repercussions the Eclipse would've had on her character.
      • It's possible that the reason is because of Guts. The story is about him and his quest for revenge on Griffith. Having someone else with pretty much the same background and motivations as him would dilute the story a bit. On the other hand, keeping her insane means she could provide more opportunities for doing something major with the story than she could if she were normal, like, for example, going and joining Griffith again. She is pretty much the third most important character in the story, so having her do something drastic would change things a lot.
      • That and he might have a weird fetish for helpless, infant-like women....
      • Or he just wants to annoy people who do have a fetish for Rape as Backstory warrior women. It'd be fitting: There's this perfect specimen just right there, but he refuses to do anything with it. Also, undoing the whole thing would be just a different kind of Death Is Cheap. It's refreshing to see something really bad and heart-rending happen to a main character that can't just we fixed with a handwave.
      • Two reasons struck this troper for the decision. The first being that keeping Casca the way she is fits in with the story being dark and gloomy and realistic in the fact one can't simply wish bad things away. It also gives Gutts a more humanising touch by making him into caretaker.
      • I always imagined that even if there was a way that Casca could be cured with magic, it wouldn't be Schierke who would be doing the major healing in the end: it would probably have to be Guts.
      • Of course, this runs into another problem when you realize that women who are "weakened" or "depowered" (unless it's a one-episode case) seldom get better. Why else are fans paranoid of female characters encountering such things?
      • I have to admit that one of my big fears about the chance of Casca getting cured is that she'll be chickified for real.
    • The second reason is that Casca is one of the most potent reminders that Griffith is not a good person, and that despite appearing to be the messiah, he is a man with dark issuses. We are shown that his actions in the eclipse do have a permenant effect on both Gutts and Casca and that it would be foolish to fully sink into the stary eyed admiration that alot of the citizens of Midland have for him.
      • Casca is one of the main characters, which means that she has her own plot line (the Skull Knight telling Guts that she may not want to wake up for her insanity just shows that Miura wont give up on her as a complex character). She's also a huge influence on the other two main characters. AND she is a huge plot device, Guts' new companions are joined for her and go to Elfhelm for her. What I'm saying is, this wont be cured easily. If it did so, everybody would feel betrayed. Something equally big as what put her in that state is bound to happen in Elfhelm for her to be cured. And then only Miura knows what he'll do when she is back as a fighting character (I'll personally murder him if he denies us the opportunity of a post-Eclipse Casca kicking ass) and a foil to Guts. Not to mention that once she is cured Guts has no reason NOT to try and kill Griffith, so all bets are on the manga finnally reaching its climax after it happens. By God Miura, update.
      • I concur with everything... except you killing Miura. He won't be able to finish otherwise.
    • If we go by the supernatural power levels in the Berserk world, then the God Hand have one of the highest, so it is not that odd that a madness instilled by them would not be curable at Schierke's level, same as the witches couldn't remove the mark of sacrifice either.
  • It Just Bugs Me! that the series's name seems to apply more to Zodd than Guts. That is to say, Zodd fits the description of a berserker more closely than Guts, at least in this troper's opinion. Consider:
    • Recklessness in combat
    • Doesn't notice wounds (He has a Healing Factor, but still...)
    • Animal inspiration (Tiger/bull/ape thing)
    • Fights naked (at first, then wears very minimalist armor.) His Apostle form is still naked.
      • Perhaps it's named after the Berserker Armour? It wasn't introduced for a long time, but Miura doesn't seem to have a problem with stretching out the story, so it could fit.
      • Berserk armour is the reason why in this tropers opinion. In addition we have the black hound which fits in with the whole bloodthirsty berserker side as well as Scorpio comparing Gutts to a berserker in the tango at the beach hut.
      • Drifting somewhat off-topic, I think the name has more to do with the fact that the whole world's gone berserk, what with the flesh-eating apostles, evil religion and genocidal tyrants who just want to spit in the face of god.
      • And it's perfectly fitting to have a character who embodies the worst negative character traits that the protagonist struggles with, and moreover, distinctly fears, to provide a foil for what Guts could become.
      • The name of the series definitely refers to Guts. Once Casca is healed what is Gutts to do? What if she does not want to go off and hunt Griffith down and exact revenge? She might want a quiet peaceful life on Elf Island. Since the Eclipse, Casca has been the only thing keeping Guts from sliding into a berserker rage and killing everything in his path - regardless of the death he leaves behind him. As the blackswordsman in the beginning of the manga this trait was in full effect. The question now is whether Gutts will give into his desire for revenge (The Hellhound, who clearly would love to destroy and hurt Casca because of what she represents to Guts)or whether he will attempt to live in peace with Casca. This conflict is central to the series and why it is named as is.
  • Why exactly do the Godhand do the things they do? It Just Bugs Me! that they don't seem to have any real reason for offering demonhood to suckers and making life more miserable. Are they servants/slaves to the Idea of Evil? Do they have some grand scheme in the making of becoming omnipotent? Or are they just spreading misery for shits and giggles?
    • I don't suppose you'd accept 'they are just jerks' as an answer?
      • Actually I would. At this point it's pretty much the only plausible one. It's actually pretty scary that beings as powerful and influential as the Godhand would spread such misery For the Evulz. At least The Idea of Evil has the excuse of being The Heartless and possibly dependent on suffering.
      • I think it comes back to the idea of fate/destiny. They do what they do because they are ultimately cruel and evil people, becoming part of the Godhand probably ramps it up to 11 but it's still something that was there. Griffiths Behelit was to him a sign of destiny so he ran with it, I am guessing there's probably something in there about the idea of free will and destiny, the Godhand enslaved themselves to their destiny, and the words to do as they will is simply to do what their 'destiny' is in their eyes.
      • The Berserk universe has no shortage of mistreated or sociopathic people. We don't know the backstory of the rest of the Godhand yet, but if they're anything like Griffith, they're probably crazy as hell. The fun thing about The Idea of Evil is that it isn't The Heartless. It cares. Just not in the normal way.
      • Some of the Apostles seem to have been pretty decent people before becoming demons. It's not until after they're no longer human that they become evil. I would guess that the process corrupts their minds in some way, to make it more likely they will spread suffering.
      • Yeah, I'd bet. Take the Count for example. I'd imagine that after you dismember and consume your wife who has been cuckolding you and performing pagan rituals in your home, you've become a pretty unstable person. And Void or Femto explicitly say that when you make your sacrifice, you offer up part of your heart as well, becoming unable to feel pain or sympathy for others. Interestingly, though, one recalls that the only actual command any apostle is ever given is 'Do as you wish," or something to that effect. One imagines that there could be a few 'hero' apostles wandering around who don't necessarily butcher and rape every poor soul they run afoul of, and just... do their own thing.
      • Well, as far as I can tell, Locus and that archer fellow in the New Band of Hawks seem like pretty decent fellows, for demons. They probably have some absurd off-screen bodycount, and have probably eaten a baby or two at some point, but for the most part seem like pretty decent guys. Zodd, for that matter, for all his Blood Knight-ness and tendency to rip through armies for the hell of it, is a relatively decent fellow, not engaging in any over the top villainy for the hell of it.
      • It's important to note that the conditions required to activate a Behelith and then to become an apostle are not conducive to postive mental health. Thus it makes sense that most of them are bad people as only bad people would be willing to become a demon.
      • It seems to me that Griffith even in the beginning started out as a vindictive, power-hungry, amoral son of a bitch who would do just about anything to achieve his goals. Think about some of the things he does before the eclipse: He plans two different assassinations of nobles just below the king, in the process orders a man's daughter kidnapped and held as insurance... These are not the acts of an okay guy. That's why he relied on Guts to keep that kind of thing a secret. He wanted to keep up the appearance of being perfect. The events of the eclipse just cement how villainous he actually was - torture and humilation or not, he knew exactly what he was doing when he gave up the hawks as a sacrifice, and decided that their lives were worth less than power. So I figure that after Raping The Dog so spectacularly little things like making apostles and fucking the world up really isn't too big of a challenge.
      • To be fair, each time Griffith carried out a secret assassination, it was against people who were trying to kill him as well (Julius, who plotted an assassination during the Fall Hunt, and the Queen and circle of nobles who plotted against him and tried to poison him during his own victory celebration). Griffith was certainly no angel, but neither are the majority of the people in Midland for that matter. Crapsack World, people. Crapsack world.
      • The key word here is "why?". Griffith did do a lot of terrible stuff, but he always had a reason for it: it was to pursue his dream of being a ruler. Assassinating his enemies, sacrificing the Hawks, and all that, were things he did to accomplish his goals. But immediately after becoming a demon, he rapes Casca just For the Evulz. It's pretty clear that demonhood includes Raping The Dog for no reason at all as part of the package.
      • Pay attention to the story: The rape was so he could corrupt her and Guts's child for his eventual rebirth.
      • But it's not at all clear that Griffith knew that would happen at the time. The whole idea of the Godhand and causality is that all these people doing whatever they want always leads to what the Idea of Evil wants to happen. Griffith didn't actually need to know he'd get a new body for raping Casca. It might've just worked out that way because, even as Femto (probably especially as Femto), his motives are still part of the cosmic plan.
      • I always thought that since he had sorta recently found out that Casca and Guts were hooking up, possibility of feeling abandoned or losing his trusty right hand warrior (Either one could be that), I thought the rape was some wierd "No, she's mine" thing.
      • Griffith did behave badly but the setting of the story is such that he had too if he wished to advance. The whole torture thing however meant that he was psychological destroyed and thus promises of power were lapped up by him. So while he is undoubtly the villian, he remains quite sympathetic.
      • And he completely destroyed any sympathy he had when he raped Casca. Sacrificing the Hawks, while really bad, is at least understandable from his position. It was the only way to pursue his dream, he was physically and mentally broken at the time, and the Godhand didn't portray it as all that different than his men dieing for him on the battlefield. But what he did to Casca has no excuse at all. It wasn't necessary at all, it was just him being jealous and spiteful, having a powertrip where he gets back at Guts and Casca for "rejecting" him and destroying the two of them in the process. It's the point where he crosses from being merely 'ruthless' into being outright Evil.
      • He didn't rape Caska because he wanted to, he raped Caska because it was the worst possible way he could hurt Guts, who was his best friend. This was the sacrifice that the Behelit demanded.
      • No, sacrificing the Hawks was what the Behelit demanded. Raping Casca was something he did on his own.
      • All this Griffith apologism frightens me.
      • This troper always interpreted it as revenge aimed at Guts. Griffith wasn't blind to Caska's devotion to her commander. Sociopathic narcissists often intentionally act oblivious to the emotions of others to soak up their affection without having to share in it and given Griffith's high standard of what constitutes a friend, he clearly isn't above viewing the Hawks as privately below him. Knowing he was about to lose his most loyal follower and the man he trusted enough to keep privy his most dire acts of ambition (the assassinations he cut Guts in on) was a blow to his ego he couldn't take. Notice how little Femto reacts to raping Caska, all while staring Guts dead in the eyes. It wasn't about her, it was about hurting him through her.
      • This troper took things a little differently. Griffith doesn't really qualify as sociopathic (at least in the Golden Age). Guts, an emotionally stunted individual, puts out his first real emotional connection since age 6 to this charismatic leader and the men who follow him. Then, when he thinks that he and Griffith are Twu Fwiends, he overhears Griffith's monologue to Charlotte. Griffith there states that any man who serves Griffith and not himself is not an equal, and therefore no true friend, but rather a tool for Griffith to use. This causes Guts to leave, emotional connection bruised. Griffith, on the other hand, freaks out when the ONLY person he is shown to let his guard down with (regularly) is leaving. Griffith seems similarly stunted in his ability to reach out to people, and when HIS friendship with Guts is threatened. It seems that his speech to Charlotte is more a veiled admission that he doesn't care about her at all, and that she is a means to an end. He thinks of Guts as a friend, but his own emotional hangups keep him at arms length, and he uses him as a tool for his own purposes. It's less that Griffith is narcissistic and more that he feels he can't AFFORD to be seen as a normal part of the group. That's why Guts leaving hits him so hard, and why Guts taking Casca (his second closest emotional attachment) from him puts him over the edge, which in turn makes him ripe for the Moral Event Horizon of the Eclipse. The rape is just pure mean-spirited "You ruined me, I'll ruin you". Basically, he was punishing them both (mostly Guts) for their perceived betrayal.
      • Indeed, this troper thinks that if The Skull Knight hadn't saved the day, Femto would probably have tossed Casca to the rest of his horde and did the same thing to Guts ... assuming Femto survived the latter experience.
      • Seconded - how exactly does he get eviler? This dude is currently fucking up MoralEventHorizons all by his lonesome.
      • Double indeed. Mirroring what somebody above said, Griffith's actions during the Eclipse is suppose to remind us that there is something wrong with this guy, in many, many contexts. It especially takes a special kind of evil person to rape a person that he himself saved from the same fate, but just look at the moments before the feast. Even though Guts and Casca were discussing their future together as lovers, their one priority during their most dire hour when they got warped to the Nexus was to get Griffith to safety. These two were not thinking of themselves and only had Griffith's well-being in mind, and he went and backstabbed them in a very heinous way out of his own spite and selfishness. Also just looking at the circumstances of sacrificing his comrades and raping Casca: Griffith condemned his allies to death, but he didn't actually do any of the killing himself. He did, however, go out of his way to rape Casca in front of Guts. I admit that one can successfully argue the justification for killing somebody, since you can kill for several different reasons (self-defense, war, revenge, for the hell of it, the so-called greater good), but you only rape people because you're a sick individual (because there's no need to rape people, only want because you're a douchebag). Period.
      • All of this is why Griffith is one of the best villains in all fiction. We usually see villains as Evil people that either are always EVIL or have just an excuse for it. But in Griffith we see him slide all the way. Personally I think becoming an Apostle either directly or indirectly affected his mind, taking off his conscience or perhaps inflating his ego all the way to complete psychosis (heck, this ambiguousness is another example of Miura's genius). He started as a flawed man and an archetype of an ambitious leader, that did evil for a reason. Then he became a pathetic and spiteful being, looking for his former glory and hating those around him because he couldn't get that glory back. As such he did questionable and desperate choices, because he was in such a state that he couldn't see anything but his pains. In a way the truth is that the whole Griffith arc palys like a tragedy, and from his point of view it seems he didn't want it all to happen that way and that he was truly destiny's toy. But after choosing to sacrifice his comrades, from a moral and storytelling-wise view, Griffith made his choice: his pride and ambitions over his friends. Raping Casca, probably to spite Guts, just shows that he had lost all and any sympathetic characteristics, and that he did so from his own choice. Thus we have the complete fall from a complex man to an unreemedable demon.
    • Going back to the original subject, if we look at the one member of the God Hand we know well, Femto, we can see why they do what they do. It has everything to do with their own personal agendas in life, with an extra level of evil added by the transformation. Griffith wanted to "reach the castle", and as Femto he realises he needs to figuratively pave a street with bodies to do so, so he sacrifices the Band of the Hawk, and then joins the God Hand as leader of the Apostles to increase this body count even more. And it pays off, seeing how he got reincarnated as Griffith and did get his castle in Falconia. It's not a stretch to assume the other four God Hand members are in a similar situation, working for the sake of their own dreams, and it "just so happens" that their desires match up very well and built into each other, and into the Idea of Evil's plans. In fact, during the lost chapter, the Io E says flat out states Femto should do whatever he wants, and the implication is that "whatever he wants" happens to be exactly what the Io E needs to further his plans, as it has some control over fate.
    • To begin, we don't know much about what the God Hand actually DO. Our only perspective is essentially them acting as opposition to Guts. They haven't directly killed many people - barring the whole eclipse. Speaking of the Eclipse, it wasn't a malicious event. At least not on the part of the God Hand. The Apostles were essentially on monster holiday and were more than happy to massacre the Hawks. The Blue and Orange Morality of the God Hand made them unable or simply not wanting to intervene. They are all about Causality and feeding the natural spirit of the world back into itself. In an age where fear and war and death are prevalent, they too will be evil and rejoice in blood. Griffith is chosen because he embodies Humanities need for a savior, he hopes to fulfill that dream in life, but his ambition is dashed to the ground in the
torture chamber where he is mutilated. Once he becomes Femto and proceeds to rape Casca, I think that the decision was out of his hands. Again it could have been just like the apostles his first instinct as a member of God Hand was to cause pain in the most 'Human' way he could think of At any rate the God hand are so far removed from the needs of the individual because they deal in global concepts and any action they take can be expected to have symbolic meaning.
  • Why do the God Hand offer to turn people into Apostles? Because they can, and because it's the only thing they can still do that has meaning. They are immortal, and as near to omnipotent and omniscient as it's possible to be. There is nothing left for them to reach for, nothing to accomplish, no more power to attain. Their lives after their transformation are pure And Then What?? And the last thing they did was betray and destroy the people who loved and trusted them.
So why offer to turn people into Apostles? Because it justifies their actions to themselves. With every person who makes the same choice they did, they can tell themselves again, "What I did had to be done. I didn't have a choice. Anyone would have done what I did. If I'm a monster, it's only because all Humans Are Monsters." It's bullshit, of course; it IS possible to refuse them, as shown by the Slug Count. But they get to pretend that the nature of humanity is pure evil and that they're Not So Different from anyone else. The fact that it also creates an army of badass demons is just a side benefit.
  • Why does Black Swordsman Guts (Guts before the flashback) still have issues about being touched? I thought he was over what happened because of Gambino and Donovan after being intimate with Casca?
    • I think with Casca it was more something along the lines of If It's You, It's Okay, so other people touching him would still freak him out. Everything that happened during the Eclipse probably didn't help.
    • Yeah, if anything the Eclipse just sent those issues roaring right back with a vengeance.
      • True, Guts being pinned down and forced to watch With only one eye qualifies as a Mind Rape in itself.
    • He seems to have it at least partially under control and can overcome it at times: remember the first page of Berserk where screws a woman which turns into a demon? If it gives him some kind of advantage, he certainly doesn't mind contact. Or Miura just decided his badass main protagonist should be different than he originally intendedů or he forgot.
    • Remember that Guts' aversion to being touched has much to do with his trust in others as it does with a single physically and sexually traumatizing experience. Guts was not only raped as a child by one man, but the rape happened because he was betrayed by a man that he viewed as a father-figure. Guts might not have openly or even internally condemned Gambino for what he did to him, but it was obvious that his trust in others was ruined forever and it was therefore hard for him to form bonds with others. When Guts met Griffith, he was beginning to open up to him as a friend and he might have even as gone so far as to disclose to Griffith about his traumatizing past, but when he overheard Griffith's high expectations of what he considered a real friend (you can interpret that speech however you'd like; someone above gave a good analysis of it) - and how even Guts didn't seem to qualify for those expectations - that just shut the guy down even more. You notice that it was at this point that Guts starts to interact with Casca a lot more, especially after their time together after falling off of the cliff where they learned that they weren't so different from each other. He starts talking to her in a way that he never talked to Griffith in, showing how he is regaining his trust in forming relationship with people. It all accumulates to the point that he has an emotional breakdown while they're making love, where Guts spills all of the trauma he endured as a kid that he's been keeping in for all of these years. This is the first time that Guts shows such an emotionally damaged and fragile side to anyone and he is understandably ashamed and embarrassed because of this, but Casca soothed his wounds and pretty told him that it would all be okay in time because they had each other to cope with their trauma. It was at this point that Guts finally found somebody that he could trust and relate to, and in an ironic twist on Griffith's expectations of a true friend, it was Casca who became Guts' equal. But there was no doubt that Guts placed some trust in Griffith, since he at least considered Griffith his friend, but during the Eclipse, everything just came tumbling down. Griffith betrayed whatever trust that Guts had for him in a very epic way, and to make it worse, Griffith took away the one person that Guts knew that he could trust. And to make it extra worse, Griffith used Guts' issues in trust against him, since he horrifically tortured the person that made Guts regain his sense of trust in people (since Guts' trust in people is his Achilles' heel.). In short, Guts had two major violations of trust in his life: one when he was child and the other during the Eclipse, the latter taking it up to eleven by a) eliminating the trust he had in one person he cared for b) having the person whom he trusted AND loved being taken away and c) being forced to relive his first violation of trust which was very physical.
      • Of course, to be more optimistic, Guts is regaining his sense of trust in others upon forming his new group of True Companions, and he's not as freaked out when people touch him now, so all is not lost.
  • I think it is stated in the lost chapter that a person becoming a demon assumes a form he/she wishes Griffith, for example, having desired "wings", and becoming the hawk like Femto. So, why do most people opt for disgusting phallic creatures that make anglerfishes look cute?
    • Because they're fucked up people.
    • Well it seems the form they take is dependent on their desires and seeing as sex and violence feature quite strongly is it any surprise that a lot of demons are based on that? Look at the count.
    • Most of the demons are male. All Men Are Perverts and Freud Was Right. Self-Demonstrating Article.
  • Irvine, the new Band of the Hawk's expert archer/hunter is a self described loner who enjoys nothing more than hunting alone in the forests for days on end. So who exactly did he sacrifice to become an Apostle?
    • Perhaps His own eyes? Notice he has no pupils, and his bow has an eye? By giving up his human senses he lost the thrill of the hunt (like playing a game on godmode), It's never stated the sacrifice had to be human, just that which is most important to the person. This works nicely with the whole "Not all Apostles are monsters angle. Though that's just speculation.
      • It gets kinda disturbing when you remember that sacrifices are consummated by having demons eat the sacrifice. That means that the last thing Irvine saw in his life was a demon about to eat his eyes.
      • I'm not sure that's always how it works. Didn't the Behelit Apostle sacrifice "the world"? Apparently concepts are fair sacrifice fodder in the grand scheme of Causality.
      • Perhaps it might work if you value that concept more than anything else and there's a great possibility of it coming true in the future, just like the Behelit Apostle's sacrifice resulted in the rebirth of Griffith and thus consequently the coming of the new world.
      • The Behelit Apostle sacrificed himself, and sacrificed "the world" in the sense that he'd never be able to experience it again. Just as Griffith loved and hated Guts and Casca and the Count loved and hated his wife, the Behelit Apostle loved and hated the world. All it ever gave him was pain, but that pain was all that he had. (TL;DR: It was a bit of a special case.)
    • You're all either looking at it wrong or over-analyzing it. Just because Irvine's a loner now doesn't mean he always was. Whatever secrets he's hiding is something that's probably going to be revealed in the future.
    • Speaking of Apostles, I don't get how Wyald could reach the state of being one. His hedonistic sadism doesn't seem like it's possible to make him suffer a Despair Event Horizon needed for the Behelit, nor the kind of guy who'd have anyone to sacrifice.
      • True form of Wyald was that of the frail old man. This Troper can easily imagine Despair Event Horizon for such a man (feeling of uselessness, fear of death etc.). Sacrifice could be his family or some other caretaker. Also personalities can change rapidly when you become apostle. Take Count for example sure he was Knight Templar but otherwise he was decent Lord and father.
    • After reading all of these, something tells me that with Griffith's neo Band of the Hawk, there's going to be a trend where the head apostles are revealed to have sacrificed a virtue in lieu of an actual person, and in the process, that virtue was eventually replaced by "sin" with their personality change. It could bring about An Aesop about being a Principles Zealot or something like that, you know? It could also serve as a twisted opportunity for the apostles to reflect on Griffith's own sacrificial rite, which was anything but virtuous.
  • Exactly why is training with a huge ass sword not standard? At least for elite mooks? I mean, as badass as Guts is, he is still a NORMAL badass, meaning any warrior should be able to do what he does. In real life, no one uses the kind of sword Guts does because it's flat out impossible, but if it's possible for a normal person to do it in Berserk's universe, and once you've trained with it enough, there are virtually no downsides to it except in maybe cramped spaces (and even then, Guts managed to work around it) in comparison to normal sized swords. I just don't see why Guts has been the only one to think of using this method. At the very least, elite warriors should train with it, but the only one who ever used anything like it is Zodd, who is an Apostle.
    • Because for most people, learning how to do so just isn't worth it. It took Guts YEARS of training before he could swing something the size of the Dragon Slayer, and the only reason he actually needs a sword that big is to fight Apostles. A regular sword works just fine on regular people, which is what most warriors spend their time fighting. There no point in them spending so much time and effort learning how to use something they don't actually need to use.
      • A good point, but it should be remembered that Guts' abilities would be valuable to any mercenary or soldier, not just to those needing the power to take out a demon. The ability to cut through men in plate mail like they were made of straw would be highly coveted by all commanders and fighters.
    • Guts may be an ordinary human, but he's an ordinary human who has been using oversized blades since very early childhood. It's unlikely that a regular person could just start training with a blade like that and have anywhere near the skill and strength with a blade that Guts has without spending decades catching up, which is time they could better spend mastering a more practical weapon. It's pretty much stated that the Dragon Slayer is a blade that has terrible disadvantages in many cases - the difference is that Guts is a master swordsman, and therefore able to overcome them.
      • Theory: Guts is human, but not a baseline human. His super human strength is the result of greater theoretical potential combined with Training from Hell. The range of potential within the populace ranging from Weak-Average-Strong-Superhuman. Albeit, this doesn't explain why per say super human traits exist within the Berserk human populace, it however does not seem plausible that Charles Atlas Super powers would exist for real. If all it took to turn a regular person into a super human with training with out concern for their physical limitations, there would be super humans running all over the place. The reason that there aren't is that at a certain point increasingly strenuous training does nothing but cause debilitating injuries. A universe where the above wasn't the case would have EVERY soldier/fighter be a trained super human.
      • Guts is not human anymore. His capacities even before the berserker armor were superhuman. Schierke states as much when she points out that the brand of sacrifice causes him to perpetually live in the hazama, the shallow ethereal dream land. The reason that hungry ghosts can manifest around him and kill normal people is that he is a walking wrinkle in reality. Because he lives in a perpetual astral state his thoughts have influenced his physical reality. His rage has literally warped his personal reality. Much like his sword has become capable of killing a member of the god hand by dint of its deeds, Guts has literally forged himself into someone that can weild it. Notice that prior to the eclipse his sword is large but not freakish.
      • There's also the theory that Guts himself is supernatural from birth, and that the occult stigma he gains from his birth actually has some merit. See the [[WMG WMG]] for details
    • Why isn't every guitar player as good as Jimi Hendrix or BB King? They're just normal dudes who practiced a lot. Why doesn't everyone just practice as much as them and then they'd be as good as them?
  • Okay. There's no theory behind this, but has it ever bugged anyone that Guts gives Gambino so much credit over Shisu? I know that she died when he was three or four so they didn't have as much time together, but Shisu is perhaps the only other person besides Casca who loved Guts unconditionally, which is more than I can say for his strict but reasonable adoptive father. Yet, even through all of the bullshit that Gambino put Guts through - that he was knowingly aware of - Guts still feels more parental love toward Gambino than Shisu. Heck - when he was explaining his past trauma to Casca, it wasn't Shisu who took Guts in as a baby: it was Gambino. Go fig. A question worthy of more discussion would be if there will ever be any mention of Shisu from Guts for the rest of the series?
  • What really bothers me is why Griffith wanted to hold on to Guts so badly. Unless I'm really missing something, it seems like pure Yandere. Guts is setting off on his own, which is Griffith's exact own definition of what a true friend would do. Griffith seemed to have no tactical use for Guts at the time he left after winning the duel. The war the Hawks fought for Midland had ended a month ago, and the only way Griffith could advance further seemed to be purely through Princess Charlotte and politics. So was Griffith really as emotionally dependent on and madly in love with Guts as I think he was, or am I missing something big?
    • Griffith seemed to have abandonment issues. He wants friends he can respect, but even more so he wants people who will always be with him.
    • That and Griffith seems to have an special obsession about Guts since he actualy managed to hurt him in their first encounter, when Griffith was already considered invincible. Griffith probably held Guts in very high regard and he was probably the only person he considered "close to an equal", seeing as how he eventualy becomes his right hand man and personal confident. When Guts actualy managed to defeat him and leave, Griffith probably had an emotional breakdown because not only Guts went against his wishes but also actualy defeated him when he tried to stop Guts. The inability to make his will prevail coupled with losing Guts pushed him through the Despair Event Horizon. Hell, in the manga, Griffith keeps thinking about Guts EVERY DAY after it happens, even while having sex to princess Charlotte and enduring horrible torture and confinement. If anything this is a canon headscratcher, Casca says Griffith never acted that way towards anyone through all the years she's been in the band of the hawk.
    • Griffith is certainly fixated on Guts for a pretty simple reason. Griffith was always so far above everyone, all of his life probably. Even before becoming Femto his level of competency and sheer luck bordered on the supernatural. The Band of the Hawk was essentially an average mercenary band who were carried by their Leader into success. Guts is the only other member of the Hawks to even approach Griffith's level of prowess. Not in terms of leadership or charisma but at least physically. Griffith has a keen eye for how to best use others and initially took an interest in Guts in order to use him towards his ambition. As time wore on, the two grew closer and Guts became ever more powerful in order to lead the Hawks to victory. This works out and the Band of the Hawk is made into an official army. However, Guts choese to leave him and the Hawks in order to find out his own dream and to take time to discover himself away from his comrades. What does this mean to Griffith at this point? A man, the only man, who he could begin to treat as an equal and to forge a relationship with leaves in search of his own dreams - essentially abandoning Griffith and his ambitions. In a way it was almost as though Guts had outgrown Griffith and was going on to better things, or at least how Griffith would have viewed it. That is why he confronts Guts and they fight one last time. It was an attempt to reassert himself as superior to his one-time subordinate. Guts wins and Griffith feels empty and alone because the only other ▄bermensch around is gone. He feels so despondent that he throws his own dreams into the fire by sleeping with Charlotte in a single self-destructive act. It may have also been an impatient attempt to seal the deal for himself as future king.
  • Sooo.... What about that dragon, huh? The one Godo talked about but didn't want to talk about? He said that he made that sword so that it could slay a dragon - and apparently it worked. But then he went onto saying that nobody had the strength to wield it... So what I want to ask is: Cool Old Guy, are you nuts?! I mean, he said that the Dragon Slayer succeeded in killing a dragon, but how could it if he said that no one had the strength to wiel - hold on. Is he perhaps implicating that he, Godo the Blacksmith, was once a dragon slaying, crouching blacksmith, hidden badass??? Okay, farfetched idea. But still. Am I missing something here?
    • As awesome as that would have been...but there was no actual dragon involved. It was not forged to slay any specific dragon, but to theoretically be able to kill one. While telling the story, Godo remarks that he doesn't think dragons and other such monsters are real, and if they were, a human could not possibly beat them. So it's only fitting that a weapon that could kill them could not be wielded by a human.
    • He put it into catapult and launched it at the dragon?
  • Is it just me, or is the series getting more Nipple and Dimed?
    • Judging by episode 285 with all of the Innocent Fanservice Merrows...nope.
    • True, but I was referring more to how they're being drawn as of lately. Earlier, they were really obvious, but in this latest chapter, not so much. They're kind of decreasing in visibility. Knowing Berserk, they're probably never going to go away, but I have noticed another shift in Miura's art style in the latest chapters. I know how creepy-like this sounds.
  • I noticed something in chapter 71 of the manga. Casca had just come from taking care of Griffith in the wagon, and Casca is clearly upset and crying outside. But I noticed that she was clutching her stomach in one panel. Was it possible that Casca was showing signs of morning sickness? I know that morning sickness occurs at six weeks after conception, and only about two weeks had elapsed from the point that Guts and Casca had sex and the point that she miscarried, but I overlapped that with Fridge Logic... Just speaking in general.
    • It's possible, but then again it looked like Griffith was trying to rape her then but failed due to his body being messed up.
  • I'm re-re-re watching the original anime (English dubbed), and I'm surprised at myself for never bringing attention to this before. In the first episode, after the opening, two dudes are in a tavern, talking about how shit-tastic Midland is. One of the guys says, "I can't take it. Ever since Griffith became king, I've lost all hope." Whoa, what? How did this happen? This has to be a mistranslation for the English, but I'm wondering if the same was said in the Japanese dialogue. Were these some aborted plans for Griffith's reintroduction into the physical plane after the Eclipse?
    • It was just a shorthand way to establish what the manga established through the pre-Golden-Age monster-of-the-week arcs: that even though Griffith and Guts seem all buddy-buddy after Guts joins the Hawks, Griffith will eventually screw Guts over and seize ultimate power. They didn't have to worry about the fact that it would utterly screw with continuity because they already knew the anime would stop after the Eclipse, so they could take some slight creative liberties.
  • I don't understand: how the hell does Femto's costume - er, body, work? His head area looks like a helmet because we can see his pale skin underneath, but then some say that he's technically naked, and the very clear depiction of him raping Casca seems to suggest this... Unless it was all just a case of Right Through His Pants after all or he can just - I'm not even going to finish that (it sounds as disgusting in my head as it does if I typed it).
    • The whole "spandex costume with helmet" probably is indeed part of his body. The reason his head looks like a helmet with a human head inside probably has to do with how his new form is shaped somewhat according to what he wanted to look like (which begs the question of how fucked up some of the other God Hand were at the moment of their rise), and he wanted to look like a guy with a falcon/hawk themed "armour" (and wings).
    • If you look closely, Femto has bird feet. Which aren't distinct from the spandex. The whole "wanted to be a bird" thing really is canon...
  • So, do any of you Berserk scholars know why is it that a person like Flora gives off a very faint aching feeling in Guts and Casca's brand but the Child - who has weirdness plastered all over him - doesn't? I know that the Child in his demonic form did, but Child v.2.0 doesn't.
    • Does the moonlight child ever appear before Guts and/or Caska when they don't have a protective charm on? He probably does cause the scar to ache, but they never had the chance to feel these effects.
      • Huh. Good point... Then that just makes me realize that the brands don't seem to just react to evil, since Flora is far from it - just the supernatural in general (unless I got the translations wrong in that it was never specifically stated that the brands only react to evil).
  • In the latest chapter, which takes place in Guts past, he had a flashback to when Gambino was telling Guts a tip to fight, then he said that Guts made him proud. This seems very much out of character, looking back to when he blame Guts for the death of his lover.
    • He never exactly said he was "proud" of Guts, just that he made an excellent "decoy." Considering he just tricked Guts and most of the fresh recruits in his band into doing a suicide rush to reveal the enemy positions, this is...very in-character for him.
  • Anyone else notice that when Guts' Super-Powered Evil Side takes over the helmet of his Berserker armour is longer than when he's in control and can function as a mouth? Compare here and here.
    • you aren't the only one to have noticed, but you are apparently one of the few who missed the scene that explicitly details the magical nature of the armor, how it changes to fit the user, and changes further based on situations. It's not iron, man, it's magical shapeshifting phlebotinum metal.
    • In fact, the helmet (and other parts of the armour, like the plating on the arms) don't even seem to exist when it's inactive, outside of its very first appearance, and we explicitly see the helmet "growing" from his cape at least once.
  • The whole premise behind the origin of The Idea of Evil seems to operate on Fridge Logic. Common sense seems like what humans would desire is to NOT experience their suffering, not for there to be a direct cause of it, no matter how hopeless their lives seemed, that should just make them want the pain to end more.
    • It seems to be something of a criticism of religion and human nature. Basically, the assumption is that people are more interested in inventing an elaborate system of meaning and purpose to explain why life is so terrible rather than actually trying to improve anything. It's the same sort of thinking in the real world that leads to claims that the concept of the afterlife was made up simply so that the stupid masses would do what they were told even as the people in charge robbed and oppressed them.
    • Gone Horribly Right. People wanted an explanation for why there is suffering. The Idea of Evil took it too far by creating an elaborate Cosmic Horror Story for it, instead of stopping at being a scapegoat/discovering what causes suffering.
    • The suffering on human life is real and undeniable, but a person's instincts lead them to trying to rationalise that, find a reason for the suffering, and failing that, ask the heavens "why?". That need to rationalise, and the lack of a proper answer for all the cruelty of the world, is what gave birth to the Io E. Supposedly, they wouldn't be able to just change reality with their desire not to suffer anymore (at least before the line between fantasy and reality got very shaky), but they can add to reality on a meta-level by imagining a reason.
  • It's implied that becoming an Apostle or Godhand removes your sense of empathy. If so, why are some Apostles like Rosa capable of caring for people?
    • The Apostles seem to have mostly obsession, rather than empathy. But maybe even the initial sacrifice and transformation is not enough for some people (the Count comes to mind, and he was even offered a second chance at doing the Apostle ritual, presumably to get rid of whatever was left of his humanity).
      • Given how Griffith was still a ruthless Manipulative Bastard when he had empathy, you probably need to have issues to completely give up empathy.
    • Explanation #1: It's only the God Hand who have their empathy magically removed. Bog-standard Apostles do not unless they specifically make that part of their bargain. However, I prefer:
    • Explanation #2: The transformation into an Apostle or God Hand is purely physical. It has no supernatural effect on one's personality or emotions. It's a placebo: the God Hand tell you that you lack empathy, and you very badly want to believe that you are now "above" human emotions like shame and regret (since otherwise you would have to deal with the fact that you just epically screwed over someone who loved and trusted you). So you keep telling yourself that you feel no shame or empathy until you believe it, but it's bullshit. In every moral sense you are still human (albeit one with a hefty dose of Body Horror) and have every normal human emotion that you had before you transformed.
  • One of the main themes of Berserk is Humans Are Flawed(you need to give up someone you care about in order to become an Apostle). Why, then, are most of the people major dicks instead of just dickish? I am mainly referring to how 90% of the men try to rape Casca-and those men are mainly villagers instead of the usual sort. Does Miura think rape is necessary to show that Midland is a bad place? Or maybe that its how you say hello in Midland.

  • As a person coming from Norway, I found it funny Femto's named what he is, as "Fem" means "Five" in Norwegian and other Scandinavian languages (seeing as he's the fifth God Hand). Or does it come from somewhere else?

  • Before Griffith became Femto the Godhead were limited in their ability to directly influence the physical world. Somehow, they are possess some control or at least ability to control causality, know the actions of others and see the future. For instance, they knew to send Zodd to stop Wyld from killing Griffith. But I recall in the English translation they commented that they are not all-knowing and cannot 100% predict the actions some individuals who somehow defy fate. That is why Skull Knight was able to intervene and same Guts. Since Guts was expected to die during the Griffith's tranformation does this mean they cannot predict his actions with the same accuracy as they do others?
    • That's the real question, isn't it? Was Guts "supposed" to die during the Eclipse or not? Consider this: Femto needed Guts and Casca's child to exist in the physical plane in order to be reborn there. So that much, at least, was part of his plan. Now, maybe if Skully hadn't rescued them, he'd have arranged for it to happen some other way... but maybe not. Maybe Skully's rescue was a Batman Gambit in order to get the Child back to the physical plane, which would make Guts' survival part of the plan as well. Now, Slan does treat Guts' survival as unexpected and says straight out that the God Hand are not omniscient... but just because they aren't doesn't mean the Idea of Evil isn't. (Spoilers refer to the Lost Chapter.) It could have been part of its plan, or it could have been a plot by Void or Femto that she wasn't aware of. Skully, for his part, seems to believe that he and Guts have the ability to act outside of the God Hand's designs, but that doesn't mean he's right. No way to know except to keep reading... assuming that Miura gets off his ass and keeps writing. (-:
  • How is Adon able to speak clearly after having all of the teeth on the right side of his head knocked out?
  • Okay, this is gonna be a really awkward question, but Femto's rape of Casca: Anatomically Impossible Sex the "Female orgasm from penetration alone" version? It's pretty common knowledge that simply having sex doesn't guarantee an orgasm for the woman, some couples can even try for weeks or months without her being satisfied, yet Casca had an Immodest Orgasm from a brutal rape? I find that extremely unrealistic.
    • Whether Casca had an orgasm at all is very much open to interpretation. I never read it that way myself; the flushed face and audible cries read as pain to me, not orgasm. (It also very much depends on which version you're watching, as the manga, TV series, and movie versions all play subtly differently, as do the Japanese and various foreign-language dub tracks). That said, women can and do experience arousal and orgasm during rape. Of women who report rape, 5% report orgasm. That's the number who report it; for what I hope should be obvious reasons, it can be safely assumed that many women who experience orgasm during rape choose not to report it.
    • The lower panels on this page strongly indicates her climaxing, plus she cried when having sex with Guts too. I honestly think Miura could have emphasized her suffering more than all the pages and detail spent on her body getting naturally aroused. Heavier crying, screaming at Femto to stop, horribly bleeding from between her thighs etc. would have been alot more indicative of the extruciating pain she's meant to be in. The way I read it was that her body enjoyed it while her mentality was the suffering part. For example, I would personally have found it more powerful had Femto been the one coming in her before she passed out. Yet, Casca's the one climaxing, which I found a weird add to an otherwise horrible scene.
    • While I agree that the scene was made in a too ambiguous way, I don't believe there is any way for Casca to have enjoyed the act in any way at all. We're not even talking about a "normal" rape (which is already pretty traumatic and painful all by itself), but getting raped by a creature whose mere proximity is supposed to bring jolts of excruciating pain to her brand. I think the lack of a stronger reaction on her part is due to the fact that, at that point, her mind was already broken, that marks the moment when she transitioned from her original personality to the childlike one she had afterwards.
      • Sexual arousal and excruciating pain are not mutually exclusive. I wouldn't use the word "enjoy" to describe the reaction to experiencing both at once; there are those who would, but we have no reason to believe that Casca is among them.

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